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Monterey Bay Aquarium - Monterey, CA
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monterey Bay Aquarium - Monterey, CA

 Ideum, an exhibits design and development company in Corrales, NM, recently designed and installed a custom 7- foot, round multi-touch wall for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Entitled Tiny Drifters, the interactive installation utilizes blended Digital Projection dVision 35-WQXGA projectors to drive the imagery. Two 2560 x 1600 resolution dVision 35-WQXGA projectors create an incredibly high-resolution interactive touch surface for aquarium attendees.

The aquarium's interactive touch wall has many unique qualities. The seven-foot diameter glass surface serves to fully immerse the audience. Jim Spadaccini, Ideum's Director, commented, "While there are larger multi-touch walls out there, few match our resolution at 2560 x 2560 pixels (better than HD) or if they do, they often aren't contiguous." The rounded surface gives the installation additional differentiation from more traditional touch surfaces. Additionally, the fact that this exhibit is permanent (while many other touch surfaces are temporary) presented challenges along the way for Ideum, as they used thick tempered glass and other hardened materials to fortify the wall for the long-term.
 
The exhibit can track an almost unlimited number of points, allowing for multiple visitors to interact simultaneously. Ideum used a series of low-powered 5 milliwatt lasers to provide the infrared light for the tracking. A relatively simple four camera system is used to capture the touch points. The software and 3D plankton models were created by Lindsay Digital using Unity. The group at the Monterey Bay Aquarium developed the concept and assembled together the team. 
 
Follow along with Ideum via their progress series of posts on the development of this exhibit by clicking here: http://www.ideum.com/blog/2010/11/building-a-high-resolution-multitouch-wall-part-1/. Here you can find information about the equipment used, as well as the design and engineering challenges faced. 
 
Also - click to view a video of the exhibit in action <a href="http://www.ideum.com/blog/2011/08/7-foot-multitouch-wall-at-monterey-bay-aquarium-video/">here</a>.

 

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